Serving those who serve

Partnership with Metro DC USO provides ‘Turkey for Troops’

Many military service members and their families wish they could be home for the holidays. Unfortunately, hometowns and families are often thousands of miles away. And with the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC is urging people to celebrate virtually or only with members of their own immediate household.

To bring a little holiday cheer to the military and their families who serve and live near our nation’s capital, Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies business, has teamed up with the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore in the Turkey for Troops program.

“Our service members go above and beyond for our nation—often moving and missing valuable time with their families,” said Tracey Gray, vice president, Communications & External Affairs for RI&S. “This year, Raytheon Intelligence & Space partnered with USO-Metro to provide 500 junior-enlisted service members and their families in the D.C. area with Thanksgiving meals as an expression of our gratitude.”

RI&S employees and volunteers from other partnering organizations will pack the food baskets with all the traditional trimmings for a Thanksgiving dinner, as a well as a gift card for a fresh turkey or ham. This year, because of the pandemic, families will drive-through to pick up their baskets. The meals were packed under CDC guidelines, and volunteers were required to wear masks and gloves, and practice social distancing. 

“While we will have decorations and music, it won’t be the same fanfare as in years past,” said Brad Marren, USO Metro Turkey for Troops spokesperson. “We’d have games, demonstrations and other activities for the families, which we won’t be able to do this year.”

Marren, however, said that the need has never been greater.

“With some spouses not working, children at home, food insecurity and fewer families going out of town, we expect a very high demand,” he said.

The USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore is the largest chapter of the USO and provides services to the nearly 300,000 military members and their families living in the region. It also serves about 150,000 who travel through the area’s three major airports.

“Our mission is keeping our service members connected with family, home and country,” Marren said. “When a military member gets assigned to a new base or post, they usually don’t have family or friends that can help them. We are there to be a home away from home, and be part of their support network.”

Raytheon Technologies, likewise, is committed to the military community, including investing in programs to help transitioning veterans find new careers through continuing education, and inspiring military children to become drivers of tomorrow’s technology and innovation by nurturing an interest in science, technology, engineering and math.